The news of Justin Forsett’s release certainly doesn’t come as much of a shock to anyone who has watched the Ravens run game through the first four weeks of the season.
As if their struggles weren’t evident enough, Forsett being a healthy scratch on Sunday against the Raiders’ lowly run defense was the writing on the wall.
While the ground game stalled through the first two quarters in Sunday’s loss, the running back duo of Terrance West and Buck Allen (in his first action of the season) were able to find some ground in the fourth quarter.
“I think in the first half, I only had five runs,” stated West following the game. “I had a 21-yarder and the rest were no gain, but that’s how the game goes.
“You get two or three yards, and the next thing you know, you bust a big one. I’m just thankful for the opportunity.”
Head coach John Harbaugh offered up his insight as to why the vast improvement in the second-half run game.
“We blocked better, maybe,” stated Harbaugh during his Monday game review press conference. “Things are going to open up a little bit when you are down.
“They expect you to throw it, [so] you run it a little bit. I think that helped a little bit.”
West, who was lobbying to be the featured back, answered the call, rushing for 113 yards on 21 carries and scoring the first touchdown by a Ravens running back this season. Allen did little in the running game, providing just 13 yards on three attempts.
“I’ve been that type of back my whole career,”responded West. “I’m not a rotation back. I like to feel a defense out. I get stronger as the game goes on.”
Moving forward, it appears West will continue his role as the featured back, at least until rookie Kenneth Dixon returns to action. Many expect (myself included) Dixon to eventually take over in the Ravens offensive backfield.
“It feels good to contribute and put it all on the line, and do what I need to do to help this team win, any way [I can].”
West will get another crack at it on Sunday, as the “Battle of the Beltway” comes to down with the Ravens taking on the Washington Redskins and their 30th-ranked run defense.
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